The Lincoln County junior made them count.
Taylor found the end zone on three consecutive touches, senior Craig Jones and freshman Jamar Norman also ran wild, as the Red Devils routed Harlem, 69-6, at Buddy Bufford Stadium in both teams’ season-opener.
“It was the offensive line that was blocking for me,” said Taylor, who had 35 yards on five carries in limited action. “If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have scored, so I give them the credit for it.
“We all run hard,” he said of the Red Devils’ group of backs. “When they get in and score, we just celebrate all together, like we all did it as one.”
The game pitted two longtime coaches celebrating milestone seasons: Lincoln County’s Larry Campbell, in his 40th season, and Harlem’s Jimmie Lewis, in his 20th.
“I don’t know if I have a better friend in coaching since I’ve lost coach (Luther) Welsh and coach (Thomas) Bunch than Jimmie Lewis,” Campbell said. “He’s a class act, a great football coach. His talent’s just been taken away from him.“… There ain’t no finer person than him.”
After going scoreless until the final play of the first quarter, Lincoln County began piling on the touchdowns beginning in the second quarter.
In the first half, Jones ran for 143 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and Taylor had the three touchdowns.
Also finding the end zone were Sherrod Jones, on a 1-yard plunge, and Zireycus Letman, on a 31-yard fumble return.
By halftime, the Red Devils led 42-6.
One of the lone bright spots on the night was a 91-yard kick return for a touchdown from junior Alonzo Hill.
In the second half, it was more of the same from the Red Devils’ ground game.
Despite a running clock and underclassmen entering the game, Lincoln County racked up more rushing yards after halftime (257) than it did in the first half (195).
The total was 452 yards on 34 carries.
Sherrod Jones scored from 20 yards out early in the third quarter.
Then, Norman came in and promptly ran 60 yards to the Harlem 5-yard line.
He scored on the next play, and later had a 44-yard touchdown run.
He totaled 107 yards on just four carries.
Backup quarterback Price Rogers had the final score on a 10-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Lincoln County held Harlem to 64 total yards, including 59 rushing, and only four first downs.
Mikey McIntire led the way with 60 yards on 10 carries.
“We looked decent the first quarter, like we knew what we were doing,” Lewis said. “… But then we got fatigued, we got little minor injuries, and players going out of the game and not telling their position coach they’re out.
“… We just fell apart.”